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Warp speed can kill you


DarkOne
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I found the below article to be interesting. I would like to thank them for crushing all my hopes of leaving this galaxy anytime soon. Just to get to Alpha Centauri the next closest star system (4.2LY) with the use of our own rocket technology it would take us roughly 165,000yrs to get there ๐Ÿ™ Guess we need to start working on suspended animation.

Link to article: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1 ... speed.html

Quote:

Starship pilots: speed kills, especially warp speed

Star Trek fans, prepare to be disappointed. Kirk, Spock and the rest of the crew would die within a second of the USS Enterprise approaching the speed of light.

The problem lies with Einstein's special theory of relativity. It transforms the thin wisp of hydrogen gas that permeates interstellar space into an intense radiation beam that would kill humans within seconds and destroy the spacecraft's electronic instruments.

Interstellar space is an empty place. For every cubic centimetre, there are fewer than two hydrogen atoms, on average, compared with 30 billion billion atoms of air here on Earth. But according to William Edelstein of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, that sparse interstellar gas should worry the crew of a spaceship travelling close to the speed of light even more than Romulans decloaking off the starboard bow.

Special relativity describes how space and time are distorted for observers travelling at different speeds. For the crew of a spacecraft ramping up to light speed, interstellar space would appear highly compressed, thereby increasing the number of hydrogen atoms hitting the craft.

Death ray

Worse is that the atoms' kinetic energy also increases. For a crew to make the 50,000-light-year journey to the centre of the Milky Way within 10 years, they would have to travel at 99.999998 per cent the speed of light. At these speeds, hydrogen atoms would seem to reach a staggering 7 teraelectron volts รƒฦ’ร†โ€™รƒโ€ รขโ‚ฌ™รƒฦ’รขโ‚ฌลกรƒโ€šร‚ยขรƒฦ’ร†โ€™รƒโ€šร‚ยขรƒฦ’ร‚ยขรƒยขรขโ‚ฌลกร‚ยฌรƒโ€ฆร‚ยกรƒฦ’รขโ‚ฌลกรƒโ€šร‚ยฌรƒฦ’ร†โ€™รƒโ€šร‚ยขรƒฦ’ร‚ยขรƒยขรขโ€šยฌร…ยกรƒโ€šร‚ยฌรƒฦ’รขโ‚ฌยฆรƒยขรขโ€šยฌร…โ€œ the same energy that protons will eventually reach in the Large Hadron Collider when it runs at full throttle. "For the crew, it would be like standing in front of the LHC beam," says Edelstein.

The spacecraft's hull would provide little protection. Edelstein calculates that a 10-centimetre-thick layer of aluminium would absorb less than 1 per cent of the energy. Because hydrogen atoms have a proton for a nucleus, this leaves the crew exposed to dangerous ionising radiation that breaks chemical bonds and damages DNA. "Hydrogen atoms are unavoidable space mines," says Edelstein.

The fatal dose of radiation for a human is 6 sieverts. Edelstein's calculations show that the crew would receive a radiation dose of more than 10,000 sieverts within a second. Intense radiation would also weaken the structure of the spacecraft and damage its electronic instruments.

Edelstein speculates this might be one reason why extraterrestrial civilisations haven't paid us a visit. Even if ET has mastered building a rocket that can travel at the speed of light, he may be lying dead inside a weakened craft whose navigation systems have short-circuited.

Edelstein presented his results on Saturday at the American Physical Society meeting in Washington DC.


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GUNSMIF
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He also forgot to mention that any thing with `mass` cannot travel at the speed of light so we`ve no chance any way. warp speed technology has solved this problem in (sci-fi ) so im sure they can find a solution to the rather insignificant problem of hydrogen atoms what ever hitting the hull. pah... easy! ๐Ÿ˜†


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GUNSMIF
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In theory, what happens say, if you was in your space craft blasting along at over the speed of light... and you switched the head lights on???? ๐Ÿ˜•

you would be going faster than the light so what would it do?? ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜†


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Geraldine
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Ok, if FTL travel possible? The answer is yes! But you wont like the answer. You have to circumvent Einstein's theory of relativity, there is no way around this using a normal space/time model. Travel in normal space, even for speeds up to one third the speed of light, would be too hazardous. However, it has been proved by Maxwell ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxwell_equations ), that once the mass of any object is reduced to zero, maximum velocity calculated by using Einstein's equations, becomes infinite. There would not be such a thing as a "warp 10" barrier. All speeds would be possible.

How to achieve this on a practical level might be done via the use of anti gravity. Contact Groomlake for more info and good luck! ๐Ÿ˜†

There is still the problem of inertia to overcome. This could be go around by using a slower acceleration rate. Even though theoretically you could travel at an infinite speed, to get there would also take an infinite amount of time moving along a mild acceleration curve. So you are still looking at years of travel and the radiation problem. A shield made from solid neutronium might be the answer, but just finding a way to manufacture this could be impossible.

A much better way is the use of wormholes. These "shortcuts" through space could get around the radiation problem. Special "tunnelling particles" could offer a solution in how to create a stable worm hole. Also, it has be theorized that space is fractured with minuscule wormholes. Perhaps discovering these and finding a way to utilise them could be the answer. It's very unlikely though that we will see any breakthroughs in our life time. ๐Ÿ™


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DarkOne
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I'm not to up to date on my space travel physics. But I thought attaining zero mass was impossible? Even the smallest particle has mass.


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Geraldine
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That is open for debate Darkone, have a look at this scary Physics forum. I wouldnt even dare post anything on it, but some of the posts make for interesting reading.

http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=365813


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GUNSMIF
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๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜• ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooookaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay?? lol but what happens if you put your head lights on?? ๐Ÿ˜†


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Pinback
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Darkone wrote:
I found the below article to be interesting. I would like to thank them for crushing all my hopes of leaving this galaxy anytime soon. Just to get to Alpha Centauri the next closest star system (4.2LY) with the use of our own rocket technology it would take us roughly 165,000yrs to get there ๐Ÿ™

Better make some more sandwiches,looks like it might be a long journery. ๐Ÿ˜†

Not read the article as you have to be log in,but what happened to the Bussard ramjet idea. โ“

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bussard_ramjet


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Geraldine
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GUNSMIF wrote:
๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜• ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooookaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay?? lol but what happens if you put your head lights on?? ๐Ÿ˜†

Go on Gunsmif, ask that question on that physics forum, I dare you! ๐Ÿ˜†

My guess would be, because you are travelling at the speed of light, relative to you, your head lights would still operate normally. To an observer watching you go by, I doubt they would see anything except for the wake of your engines once you were long gone.

As for the Bussard Ramjet, I think it comes down to an engineering problem. In theory, it is sound, but sustaining a fusion reaction and manufacturing materials to contain and direct it, could be as difficult as manufacturing neutronium. Basically you would have to construct a pressure vessel and mixing/exhaust chamber capable of containing the same heat and radiation generated at the centre of a hydrogen bomb explosion. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ .......Tricky

One solution to new drive systems, which has already been tried on a spacecraft, is the Ion Engine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ion_engine

At present it is possible to build an ion engine which can have the same thrust as you breathing out. Might just be strong enough just to move a bit of paper. I know this doesn't sound very impressive, but in the vacuum of space, this little engine can keep on going, building it's velocity little by little until its really moving. Work is proceeding in it's development though and it is hoped one day that thruster output can be substantially increased.


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DarkOne
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I have yet to read some of those articles but I will this weekend. But let's say you are going 100,000kps, how do you stop without putting on the breaks millions of miles ahead of your destination. It cannot be possible to see like in the SW, ST and BSG movies/shows where they come out of warp to cruising speed that is insane. You have to account for the speed of the mass and how to stop your craft in the vacuum of space where there is really no resistance.

Haha I need to read up on this whole subject more because I am only using common sense and no knowledge behind my statements.

I know when I read Gunsmif's statement about what happens when you turn on your head lights at the speed of light? My first thought was you wouldn't see a difference in your view field because you are already at lightspeed and your light beam would not be able to out pace the ship so nothing would happen...?


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CaptainKal
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But I thought attaining zero mass was impossible? Even the smallest particle has mass.

Yes. Zero mass might be impossible, but dark matter is not. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_matter ) Now imagine if somehow dark matter has negative mass, in that case sub light speeds are impossible, and super luminal speeds are normal. (Mind numbing stuff ๐Ÿ˜ฏ ).

Quote:
It cannot be possible to see like in the SW, ST and BSG movies/shows where they come out of warp to cruising speed that is insane. You have to account for the speed of the mass and how to stop your craft in the vacuum of space where there is really no resistance

It depends on what they mean by the word warp speed. If they just open a hole (a wormhole actually), between two point in space, the do not have to travell in high speed. On the other hand, they may be able to stop the flow of time, so inertia laws do not apply. But in BSG we never found out, how the jump system worked . It was just a tool to advance the plot.

Quote:
The spacecraft's hull would provide little protection. Edelstein calculates that a 10-centimetre-thick layer of aluminium would absorb less than 1 per cent of the energy. Because hydrogen atoms have a proton for a nucleus, this leaves the crew exposed to dangerous ionising radiation that breaks chemical bonds and damages DNA. "Hydrogen atoms are unavoidable space mines," says Edelstein.

A well designed strong magnetic field, may be the solution to this.And it might be an advantage even http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bussard_ramjet But to be honest for interstellar exploration, you really need an way to overcome the light speed barrier by a factor of ten or even a hundred. (If you are travelling twice as fast as the speed of light it will take you two years and a half, to reach for the nearest star.) Unless we prolong our life expectancy to the thousants of years. (But that creates a whole lot of other problems). But we do not have to hurry. Our solar system is very big, and a speed of 0.1c is really adequate (nearly two hundred hours to Pluto). And achievable in the next 50 or 100 years.


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volrider
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For a crew to make the 50,000-light-year journey to the centre of the Milky Way within 10 years, they would have to travel at 99.999998 per cent the speed of light.

OK, who did the math on that statement? Even I know I'm not going to win a race against a car going 10 mph by driving 9 mph. Hopefully, the writers at the site, and ESPECIALLY the people they're quoting, should know a light-year is the distance light travels in one year. Granted, they may be referring to the subjective time to the crew (I don't know the formula to determine that), but even so, that trip would be useless, as 100,000 years would pass on Earth by the time they return. It would be nothing more than an extremely long joy-ride.


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volrider
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Darkone wrote:
I have yet to read some of those articles but I will this weekend. But let's say you are going 100,000kps, how do you stop without putting on the breaks millions of miles ahead of your destination. It cannot be possible to see like in the SW, ST and BSG movies/shows where they come out of warp to cruising speed that is insane. You have to account for the speed of the mass and how to stop your craft in the vacuum of space where there is really no resistance.

It would be impossible, if you were physically moving at those speeds. However, most writers who use FTL travel in their games, movies, books, etc., use theories that would produce the effective speed being FTL, while the physical speed of the craft remains sub-light. One "wormhole" theory, which CaptainKal mentioned, and BSG may use for their purposes, could render the speed and direction of the craft irrelevant. This theory assumes space-time is effectively a thin sheet, like rubber, and two distant points can be brought together, using some energy source to "twist" space-time, the craft transits from one point to the other, and space-time is allowed to return to normal, effectively transiting vast distances virtually instantaneously.

The theories that SW and ST use are more multi-universe/multi-dimensional ones, in that the physical laws in each universe is different, and each universe/dimension is layered, one on top of the other. These ships either leaving this universe, transiting in another, and returning to this one, which appears to be the SW model, or, in the case of ST, "warping", or creating, a "bubble universe" around the ship. In this "bubble", the other universes laws apply, and the ship can effectively travel FTL. In both theories, the craft never actually moves physically beyond sub-light speeds, yet their effective velocities are much higher.

There are many theories on the universe and FTL, probably one for every 3-4 scientists studying this, and some are more plausible than others. However, those that I have heard of, seem to agree, physically traveling FTL, or even near light-speed, would impractical, and likely impossible, for humans.


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